As Pirelli announce their plans to revert to a hybrid tire consisting of some characteristics from the 2012 specification and this year’s design, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone took time to offer a fast-moving bus with which to throw the Italian tire maker under. Ecclestone said:
“The tyres are wrong, not what we intended when we asked Pirelli to produce something which did a half race ,” he said.
“Pirelli know it and they’re doing something about it. We’ll go back to last season’s type of tyres, which gave us some close racing.”
I’ve wondered about the directive to offer a tire that lasts half of a race and would have assumed it was Formula One Management making the call but I’ve seen press reports that the FIA are the group asking for the high degradation tires. Makes little difference in the matter except to say that Ecclestone seems to be washing his hands of the demands.
Suffice to say, Ecclestone feels that Pirelli understand the issue and are creating a new tire for the Canadian GP onward. It is an interesting move as Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery was offering commentary last weekend about the outcome of changing the compounds when he said:
“What do you want?” Hembery asked. “We are only doing what we are asked to do, which is provide two or three stops. I know some people would like us to do one stop where the tyres aren’t a factor.
“You can go back to processional racing where the qualifying position is the end position. Is that what you want? Unless you want us to give Red Bull the tyres to win the championship, I think it is pretty clear. If we did that there is one team that would benefit.
“We have got a lot of teams who are against the change and just one who is maybe for it. Probably the podium people today aren’t going to be happy. It is damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
Now that position seems to have been re-thought as he told AUTOSPORT:
“There have been concerns from some of the teams that the changes will favour one team or another, but we don’t think that will be the case,” Hembery said.
“These changes are being made for Pirelli, not for anyone else. We need to get the balance right.
“We didn’t want to over-react, because by doing that we could then be helping certain teams.”
If Red Bull starts to win again, many will feel it was the tire change that offered them the salvation of another title in 2013 and the spoiler of Ferrari or Lotus F1’s year of hope. time will tell. Regardless, racing should be racing and not a mathematical battle between Pirelli and the team’s engineers exclusively.